The for and against debate

The move to revive BVG has evoked mixed reactions from urban experts and civic activists.

One of the BVG members and civic activist, Kalpana Kar, feels it is the right time to revive BVG.

“Now, it is a good time for the government to revive a PPP model to develop the City,’’ she said pointing to recent citizen protests like Whitefield Rising, Sarjapur and Hebbal Rising. She feels that PPP model is needed to listen to the voice of the people, specialists and elected representatives while planning for Bengaluru.

However, Lok Satta leader and civic activist Ashwin Mahesh says creating such advisory bodies for planning is unconstitutional. “The government is trying to subvert the Constitution by creating the BVG,” he said.

“The government can ask for advice from anyone. The State has the constitutional obligation to set up a Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC). Only the MPC has the statutory authority to plan for Bengaluru,” Mahesh said.

Asked how he had accepted a similar role in Abide set up by the previous BJP regime, he said that one of the main recommendations of Abide was to create MPCs as per the 74th amendment to the Constitution.

However, ministers said that MPC will not have all the expertise required to address the City’s growing problems and there was no harm in outsourcing the job of coming up with ideas to improve the city. The BVG will be recommendatory in nature, while MPC will continue to have all the statutory powers to decide what is good for the city, they said.

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